And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Pink Floyd, “Time”
Time – everyone wants more of it.
Picture one of those metal merry-go-rounds from the playground. You hop on and hold on for dear life while someone spins you around faster and faster. At a certain point you start to feel dizzy, and it gets harder to hold on. It’s a little scary, but not nearly as scary as letting go and flying off into the woodchips. Certainly not as scary as admitting to the other kids, “I don’t want to play.” When the ride finally comes to an end and you’re back on dry land, you’re so dizzy that you’re stumbling and tripping over yourself, trying to regain your balance.
This is what the race against time does to us.
We try our best to control it. We schedule our day down to the minute. We block our calendars, buy planners and color-code our inboxes in an effort to structure our time perfectly, to get it *just right* so we can squeeze everything in. We think that if we structure our time, it will somehow give us more time. It’s a trap.
We go and go and go without a break, fueled not by ambition and purpose but by pressure and stress. When this pattern goes on long enough, we find ourselves completely run-down, smack in the middle of burnout.
So, how do we fix this? How do we get more time?
Well, I hate to break it to you, but we can’t! Everyone gets the same amount of time to work with.
The way to have more time is to DO fewer things.
This probably isn’t the answer you hoped for, and “doing less” is easier said than done. I can certainly attest to that. But until you figure this out, you’ll be stuck on that merry-go-round.
Remember the beginning of the pandemic? It wasn’t so long ago that our pace of living and operating came to a near standstill. Many people talked about the blessings of having that chance to slow down, even resolving not to go back to the old way.
What happened?! Why do we want to be so busy? It is STRESSING. US. OUT.
Why are we so focused on DOING?
The truth is that we associate “doing things” with our value, worth, belonging and acceptance. We feel attached to doing things, because the “doing” is tied so closely to these core human needs. And the threat of losing them feels very real and scary.
We feel like if we say no to things, we’ll damage our relationships, lose trust, appear lazy or disappoint people. I’d bet just about all of us have said some version of this: “Well if I don’t (do the thing), the team will be screwed. They need me!”
It’s a hard thing to wrestle with – backing away from something so tied in with our feelings of worthiness. But every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else, and more often than not, that “something else” that you’re saying no to is yourself. This constant trade-off is why we feel so exhausted and off-balance, like we never have enough time.
We need to get off the merry-go-round.
Time is on our side.
We tend to think about time as an external force. We try to control time, and it becomes our enemy. We’re always chasing it, always falling behind. It’s never enough.
Instead, we need to think about time as internal. How it unfolds in our lives is something that WE control. We are in partnership with time, not in competition with it. Time is abundant, and it is ours to fill with whatever we desire. Thinking of time in this way is the secret to having more of it.
Without attachments, we have all the time in the world.
To have a better relationship with time, you also need to understand your beliefs and attachments as separate from your authentic self. You have the freedom to let go of them if you want to. And Coach Kerri is here to tell you that you MUST let go of those attachments if you want to be friends with time.
What do I mean by attachments? I mean the feeling that your worthiness is related to what you can accomplish; the feeling that your value in relationships is tied to how much you “do” for people; the feeling that you’ll be more accepted if people can see how busy you are. Those are all beliefs that you hold.
You need to let go.
Here’s how to let go of attachments and beliefs: just be.
It sounds simple, but many of us really struggle with unstructured downtime. We feel the need to be constantly doing, listening, watching, scrolling, cleaning… But when you just sit quietly with yourself, you are practicing detachment.
See what it feels like to be truly disconnected. Try some instrumental music or a guided meditation if total silence feels like too much. Whatever way you define stillness, it allows you to let go of attachments and just be. When you can learn to do that, you’ll finally feel the freedom from time.
You’ll be able to sit in your authentic power and know your worth by simply being.
To get more time, play a new game.
Do yourself a favor and stop running around and slow down. Racing against time is an unwinnable game. Get off the merry-go-round and go play a new game!
Know that time is abundant, and it is there to support you. Time is yours to fill with anything and everything you desire. Get still and remember: Your value and worth are not determined by accomplishments.
You are worthy by simply BEING.